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From media man to mound duty PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 19:23

Once an intern for Lakeshore Chinooks, Port grad gets a chance to play in their summer college league 

Aiden Wojciehowski just got out of work at an equipment company in Brown Deer and told his father he quit his internship this summer.
Ward Wojciehowski was shocked. Then his son broke bigger news.
“You’re looking at the newest member of the Lakeshore Chinooks,” Aiden said.
It was a dream come true for Aiden, and his father was on the same high.
“My dad was so excited. You could tell he was proud. It was an experience I’ve never had, bringing my dad to tears because he’s so excited for me. He’s my biggest fan,” Aiden said.
The 2014 Port Washington High grad and incoming senior at Loras College in Iowa has been a fan of the Chinooks, a Mequon-based summer college team, since they began playing in the Northwoods League several years ago.
Majoring in media studies and business and minoring in public relations, Aiden landed an internship with the Chinooks in 2015. He led the six-man crew working the webcast of each home game, choosing which camera angle to use.
“That was a lot of fun. It was a good learning experience. They try to operate as close to a major league level as they can,” Aiden said.
Returning to the Chinooks as a player was still a long shot, with a story that dates back to high school. Aiden starred in football for the Pirates, earning all-conference honors as a quarterback, linebacker and tight end.
One day before his first baseball game as a junior, he broke his wrist while weightlifting. He missed all but six games that season.
College coaches didn’t recruit someone who didn’t play. Aiden returned to come out of the bullpen his senior year but didn’t stand out enough to get baseball offers.
Loras, a Division III school, was interested in his football skill, however, and turned Aiden into a fullback, the battering ram clearing the hole for rushers. That grew old.
“I had fun doing it, but I thought, ‘I can’t do this for three more years,’” he said.
Aiden contacted Loras’ baseball coach and asked for a tryout. It turns out Aiden, a left-handed pitcher, was just his type.
“That’s a golden ticket for a college baseball coach. Everyone needs lefties,” he said.
Aiden logged more than 20 innings out of the bullpen for Loras last year, and he looks forward to a bigger role as a senior.
But that dream of playing for the Chinooks still hung on. After pitching a hitless five-innings against Iowa last year — “just a career day for me” — Aiden contacted the Chinooks, hoping they’d remember him from his internship.
The team usually only looks for Division I and II college players and suggested Aiden join the Sheboygan A’s in the Wisconsin State Baseball League.
The Chinooks’ hitting coach knew a member of the A’s, and pretty soon he asked about Aiden. An email later arrived, offering Aiden a spot on the Chinooks.
“I was on cloud nine,” Aiden said.
He was excited to tell one of his old teammates from high school, Brett Kirmse, who attends Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon and hasn’t yet been able to see Aiden pitch. Aiden said he was coming to the next Chinooks game.
“‘Where are you sitting?’” Kirmse asked.
“The dugout,” Aiden replied.
The experience for the unique lefty with two deliveries — one over the top and one sidearm — has been everything it was cracked up to be. Aiden loves picking up techniques from Division I college players.
But the real highlight is interacting with fans just like himself.
“My favorite part is signing autographs and taking pictures after the game,” Aiden said. “I remember looking up to the players. They were pros to me. I know how the little kids feel. Just to ham it up with them and sign autographs is really cool.”
For his father, who coached his son from fifth through eighth grade and is active in Port youth baseball and softball programs, it’s just as much a dream come true.
Ward once bumped into other people involved in Port Youth Baseball at a Chinooks game. They asked why he was there.
“Check out the bullpen,” he said.
“It’s all surreal that he’s down there playing. It’s his major leagues, if you will.”

 
Comeback kids PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 19:22

Saints win final two games of the season

The Saukville Saints nearly reached .500 this season, winning their final two Rock River League baseball games in comeback fashion to finish 7-9.
On the road last Saturday against the Cedarburg Mercs, pitcher Aaron Brockman went the distance, allowing six runs and six hits, walking seven and striking out nine in a 7-6 victory.
Saints 3B 8 5 17 4CIn the bottom of the ninth, the Mercs had the bases loaded, but Brockman struck out the final batter to secure the win.
The Mercs went ahead, 4-0, in the fourth on a three-run homer by Mike Woelky, but the Saints answered in the fifth with a three-run blast by Mike Pruefer to go up, 6-4.
Max Pruefer and Ian Tucker each had three hits for the Saints, and Joe Eigenberger, Dan Dickmann and Mike Mueller had two each.
The previous day, the Saints battled back from a 5-4, sixth-inning deficit with one run in each of the final three frames for an 8-6 road win over the Thiensville-Mequon Twins.
Tucker had four hits, and Steve Dickmann and Brockman each had two.
Sam Matthies got the win, giving up six runs on 12 hits, walking five and whiffing nine in going the distance.
The Twins led off with two hits in the ninth, but Matthies retired the next three batters.

 
Leaving big shoes to fill PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 19:16

Paul ready to tackle new challenges after establishing era of excellence in track, cross country at CG-Belgium

Les Paul may get backs into coaching high school cross country someday, but for now he’s living in Hayward and working a busy job involving international travel.
Regardless, he has left some big shoes to fill, or at least fast ones.
After several years as an assistant, Paul was named head coach of Cedar Grove-Belgium’s girls and boys cross country teams in 2011, taking over after Ron Wood’s 30-year hall-of-fame career.
Paul, Les s2082709588 4CSince Paul started in 2004 as head or assistant coach of cross country and track teams, 13 teams finished in the top 10 in the state and 14 won conference titles. The state champions and runners-up totaled six.
Paul attributes some of his success to his daughters, Lily, Marina, Ali and Chloe.
“Most of them (on the podium) have the last name of Paul,” he said with a laugh.
“Ten straight years of Paul chicks — that’s what we call them, Paul chicks — in the program. What a privilege to have family who bought in.”
By the time Paul got involved in coaching running, he had tried and tested techniques. It wasn’t “Internet coaching” of looking up tips online.
Paul brought in techniques he honed from a decade of running Ironman races, in which competitors run, swim and bike.
“I trained all the time, still do,” he said last week while driving to a triathlon.
“A great portion of the stuff I train the kids on now was all as a result of my triathlon training,” he said.
He ran right along with his teams during practices.
“It sounds easy, but you have to live it. I would never ask the kids to do anything I wouldn’t do,” he said.

 
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